DNA: Week 4 The Church

Looking at the DNA of Christianity and Christ Church.

Christianity begins with Christ; so does understanding the Church.

Welcome to Week 4 of DNA. Take some time to prepare by praying. As always, the video teaching is at the bottom in case you missed it.

Review: Christianity begins with Christ; so does understanding the church.


There are lots of different churches out there comprised of different types of people, worship, and values therein. The worldwide church is a varied, diverse, and often troubled hodgepodge of people.


Opener:

What, if any, has been your exposure to Church?

How would you describe to a someone else what "the church" is?

Church: kyriakon dōma (the Lord’s house)

Ekklēsia: assembly, gathering, congregation, meeting

Root: Καλεω kaleo call, summon.


The english word "church" does not appear in the Bible. It is a derivative of other greek words within the greek language. However, there is reference to what we understand as "the church" but the term is Ekklēsia. An ekklēsia is a gather or assembly of Christ followers. This term is used numerous times in the Bible (after Jesus' life, death, and resurrection) but is only spoken by Jesus himself once.


Matthew 16:13–20

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.


Jesus refers to the church after Peter makes the statement "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God." What do you make of this story?

Jesus says, "I will build my church." What do you think of this statement?

Word Pictures: the Church as...


The Bible uses many word pictures to describe the church. Spend some time unpacking what each of these word pictures might mean for understanding the church from your perspective.


The Family of God

1 John 3:1-3

What might it mean for the church to be considered children in God's family?

The Body of Christ

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

What might it mean for the church to be "the body of Christ"?

The Royal Priesthood

1 Peter 2:4-12

What might it mean for the church to be a "royal priesthood"?

The Ambassadors of Christ

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

What might it mean for the church to be ambassadors of Christ?

The Church as Jesus' family tree.


The Bible uses the word picture of a tree to describe the people of God, starting well before Jesus came in flesh.


Isaiah 11:1-10

Here, Isaiah (Isaiah was a prophet or speaker for God) foreshadows the coming of Jesus with beautiful language and imagery, describing him as the "shoot" from King David's line (King David was an ancient Jewish king from whom the Messiah would be a descendent of).


John 15:1-17

Here, Jesus talks about himself as being the one from which everything else stems.


Romans 11:1-24

Here, Pastor Paul is speaking about the Jewish people and their rejection of Jesus. The Jewish people were the original people of God; however, nonJews (called "Gentiles") were grafted into the family of God (represented by the image of a tree) thanks to Jesus.


Using the image of a tree and the verses above, unpack the metaphor together.


Differences in church theology, practice, and style do matter as we interpret the scriptures and seek to follow Jesus faithfully. But our differences must never be outweighed by what we have in common in Christ.


What are some of the differences and commonalities you have seen or experienced in churches before?

Conclusion:


The church is defined by what we have in common: Jesus Christ.


The common confession of Jesus as "Messiah, Son of the Living God" is what unites all Christian churches. It is union in this common confession that binds us to one another in the family of God.

Apostles' Creed, 3rd Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


*catholic here means “united” or "worldwide"

Prayer

Take some time and pray. You can type prayer requests, reflections, of things to remember in the notes area below, email them to yourself so you have them going forward.

DNA Week 4